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Study Habits

When studying for a test, is it best to take practice tests, study the material, or a combination of the two? #study

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Joe’s Answer

Matthew,

It really depends on how you learn best and how the class is structured. If you retain information and learn better through practice tests, then spend most of your time doing those. If you understand the subject better with study materials, then go for that! Find the best way for you. I personally like to use practice tests to understand how the professor will most likely structure the test and dive deeper with study materials for the topics covered.

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Kelly’s Answer

Hi Matthew-

I agree with the other responses, study habits will depend on what works best for each individual. Practice tests are a great way to test your knowledge and figure out which areas of the material you should spend more time reviewing. For me, I have benefited creating outlines so I understand the broader topics and can break down the topics into more manageable sections for review. Writing out notes as I go through the material has always helped me too! And again, leverage practice tests to know which areas of the material you should re-visit.
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Dawn’s Answer

Here are a few ways that have worked for me:

- Break the task down into manageable chunks A big task, such as writing a dissertation, or revising for an extended period, can be demotivating because it seems so big. Breaking the task down into manageable chunks can therefore help make it seem less daunting.
- Keep your end goal in mind but also use interim goals on the way. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to remember why you are studying in the first place.
- Get into a study routine. It is generally easier to stay motivated if your studying becomes part of your everyday life and routine.
- Don’t let your studying take over your life. When you start a long course of study, whether a degree course or a period of study for professional exams, it can feel like it is all-important. This is especially true when exams loom. However, it is important not to allow your studying to take over your life.

I hope that you find value in these.
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Matthew! I think it's definitely both but it is important to test yourself before the real exam for especially harder classes. For example, for chemistry or my anatomy class I would go over questions and do practice problems. For example, let's say you know how to balance a chemical equation, in theory by rules and what's outlined in the textbook, it's important to be able to do practice problems so that it is second nature too. If you have a textbook for a specific class, there are also practice problems on the back you can do to help before quiz/exam day, this especially helped me with Psych Stats and one I always recommend for my students too while tutoring!

Best of luck!
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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Matthew! I think a combination of both is helpful. Everyone is different, but here is what worked for me:

-start with reading the material, familiarize yourself with the content (if you can do this prior to class even better)
-take handwritten notes during class (better for memory than typing)
-stay up to date on lessons/material
-as you begin to study for an exam, read through the material again
-create your own study guide with your notes
-take practice tests to gain a sense of what you need to study more or less of
-use a whiteboard/chalkboard to draw out diagrams, write out concepts or definitions, etc.
-a really great way to understand the material is to try to teach it to someone else (helps you break it down)

Hope this helps!
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Matthew:

Thank you for your question. As others have provided great comments I'd like to share with you my experience on how I mentor aspiring Project Managers in preparing for the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification exam. I recommend they take practice tests on exam simulators that assess their readiness for the exam (scoring at least 80% or higher on the simulators). The exam simulators measure project management knowledge areas such as scope, cost, quality, time to name a few. I recommend taking practice tests, which provides you with knowledge insights, and studying the material reinforces what you are learning. . . Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila
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